WASHINGTON—Heritage’s homeland security team released the following statement Thursday in response to new border apprehension numbers for December 2021. Since assuming office, the Biden administration has been slow to release official numbers, with the December numbers only becoming public through a court filing, not through Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) website, as is the norm.
Mark Morgan, former acting CBP commissioner and Heritage visiting fellow: “More than a year ago, even as Joe Biden was preparing to roll back President Donald Trump’s effective border security policies, he claimed he did not want to end up with ‘two million people on our border.’ After a year on the job, it’s undeniable that Biden has failed even by his own basic measure.
“In 12 months, CBP recorded more than two million encounters along the southwest border, a shocking and historic number. But that number does not include an estimated 600,000 or more ‘got-aways,’ individuals who cross the border but which Border Patrol is unable to detain. And then there are the ‘turn-backs,’ those who to cross the border but eventually give up and return to their country of origin. Under Biden, that number was around 400,000. Under Joe Biden, more than three million people have tried to violate America’s sovereignty and illegally enter our country. This is not only the worst border crisis in American history—it’s the worst 12 months for any president when it comes to border security.”
Lora Ries, former acting DHS deputy chief of staff and Heritage senior research fellow: “The numbers are shocking enough, but what’s even worse is the Biden administration’s refusal to be transparent with the American people about the scope of their failure. And the press is certainly not doing its job to expose the full extent of the crisis and hold administration officials accountable, either. Despite speaking for two hours yesterday in a rare press conference, Biden neither spoke about, nor was he asked about, the border crisis and the consequences it has created for families and communities across our country. We are in for a rough three years if this administration continues down this path of open borders. It’s time for Congress, the states, and the American people to do what the Biden administration won’t—secure our borders and hold accountable those who opened them.”